Translator: Pink Tea Editor: JackOFallTrades
「Nn, Mai, I told you to stop trying to occupy my bed…」
「What are you sleep talking about, you fool!」
「Guh、That hurts. Stop hitting me.」
A sudden impact to the top my head brings clarity to my clouded thoughts. I remind myself of how people treat an old TV when it wasn’t working right, which is a bit unpleasant.
As I slowly get up, the dream which I’ve been watching until a moment ago gradually fades away like it is being swallowed by a fog.
Even so, there was just one thing that I could not forget, I did not remember the exact contents, but I’m sure that it was one of the memories about the ordinary times I spent with my family.
「That is because you told me not to use magic.」
「Just wake me up by shaking normally, you violent woman!」
「What did you say!!!」
I’m spitting furious words as if to blow away the sentimental mood that was taking over me and with this exchange that repeats almost every time I reset my head.
「C’mon, food, food.」
「I know, pipe down.」
The very culprit that used a beating to wake me up, went to the table right away and was seemingly waiting for food to be done.
It was due to the「It will be more delicious this way than eating while sitting on the ground」 reasoning so the redhead was creating a table and a chair every time using magic.
Inside a dungeon, objects produced by magic deconstruct on their own after a while. So usually no one would waste their magic power on something like this but it seems that the redhead had confidence in her MP reserves and didn’t care about that at all.
「I would like the meat of that 「Grateful Boar」 for today as well.」
「Again? Well, there is still a lot of the meat left so its fine, but don’t you get tired of it?」
The redhead was truly a girl with a black hole for a stomach. On top of having five meals per day, the amount she was eating every time was bigger than what I ate despite me being a man.
She is completely disregarding the law of conservation of mass, isn’t she?
「The meat of the 「Black Orc」 was not bad, but I can eat something of that level anywhere else. Right now, we should return to what we started from.」
The redhead licks her lips.
「Ah, make that soup with tomato taste, hurry up.」
「Yea, yea, Sure. Even if I say so, it is not like it will be done faster if I tried harder.」
Looks like the people in this world also hit their hands on the table over and over again when they try to make someone hurry it up..
After a while, the food is ready and the redhead starts devouring it greedily.
Even though her appearance, character, aura, and everything about her was different, she somehow reminded me of my little sister.
「By the way, since you fell down in the forest it means that you were traveling? How did you travel alone with those cooking skills? Completely on emergency rations?」
「Mm… There is a lot I would like to say, but it is not like I’m traveling alone. Right now, she must be worried sick. I am quite loved.」
「Ah, when you mention it, it really won’t be strange for you to have travel companions.」
I’m giving a reply while completely ignoring her stupid bragging.
「Umu, we are traveling together with my older sister.」
(Older sister, huh. I see, so in a way she actually was a little sister.)
Inwardly, I nod to her words.
「Two sisters traveling by themselves? Why would you something like that in such day and age?」
「That is… Well, I don’t mind telling you that much but…」
I was pretty sure that if she didn’t want to talk about it, she would just refuse right away like when I asked about her name, but the violent redhead took a curiously vague stance.
「Preludes are not like you. Is there some big reason? Ah, perhaps going to defeat the Demon Lord?」
「Defeat the Demon Lord? Pff, Ahahahahaha!!! That is a good joke! The best one so far! Kukuku」
The redhead keeps laughing loudly as if she heard something very funny.
「The reason for our travel is… A secret. Because a beautiful girl must have some shade of mystery around her.」
「What is that, now I’m curious. Didn’t you say that you don’t mind telling me?」
「Exactly so and yet it is a secret. 」
While laughing, the redhead stick out an emptied bowl, clearly in a good mood.
「Hey, what happened to all that shade of mystery? What kind of stomach do you have? You will get fat, you know?」
「GYAa?! Hey! You were serious right now, weren’t you!」
I barely evaded the「Wind Ball」 that was almost twice more powerful than usual.
I sense a level of her seriousness from the fact that she used 「Wind Ball」 that had an area of effect that was difficult to read instead of usual 「Fireball」 or 「Water Ball」.
「Huh? What are you saying? By saying to a cute girl that she will get fat, you’d obviously earn a death penalty, you dumbass!」
「Nnm? Cute girl? Where? All I can see is some midget that has 「Disappointment」 written all over her.」
「What did you say?! Oh you blind people!!!」
With lots of fuss and noise, we keep eating our food.
…When was the last time I had such rowdy meal?
Since when did meals turn into a simply mechanical action?
(…Aah, I see. It was before I came to this world.)
The last memory of such a noisy meal belongs to my original world.
It has been 6 days since I skipped a stairway in an action scene that would make even Jack*e Ch*n go pale.
In short, the redhead and I were still getting forced back into this starting room.
Without a clock, it is hard to accurately keep track of the elapsed time in a dungeon that constantly sustains the same light level, but it appears that with each passing day, the color of the water spring changes, so it is probably has been around 5 days.
If the water in the spring didn’t have such a characteristic to it then the situation might have turned into something really ugly due to a complete loss of sense of time.
It seems that you will be forciby ejected if you stay put in the dungeon for half a year, but at that point, you are bound to have some mental disorders.
And so, we are having another try for the number of which I already lost count.
「Okay, with this I will break thro━whaaaaaaaa!」
「Ha ha ha, what a fool! This time I─myowaaaaaaa?!」
Just when I thought that I got past the traps, suddenly a stream of water burst from the right side and flushed me into the pitfall.
I heard the redhead’s laughing voice coming from behind as I took a tailspin swallowed by the stream. In my sight appeared her figure that was about to jump over the torrent of water only to be hit with rocks and rubble the very next moment.
A momentary floating feeling that I tasted for the same amount of times as the number of tries we made.
After being hit in the stomach with that 「Whoom」 feeling, I started sliding down at a great speed usually found in some kind of attraction from an amusement park. I am sliding really well, though instead of 「sliding」 saying 「falling」 would be more precise.
I know that even if I try to resist here, I will just have some kind of unpleasant experience like getting covered in grease or knocked down or tickled.
Although the criteria were vague, but if you tried to escape after 「Falling into the trap」, it seemed to trigger the 「No cheating」 rule.
「Woooa!! Duh.」 「Gyaa!!! Ptui, ptui!」
After being dropped to the ground from the dust chute-like hole, while still soaking wet, I landed on my behind.
Next to me, the redhead covered in sand was trying to get sand out of her mouth.
「Damn, it was so close.」
「Wueeh, the inside of my mouth feels so gritty. 」
I shake my body, splashing water everywhere and the redhead keeps patting herself, trying to get rid of the sand.
「Kuh, It was supposed to be my victory this time.」
The redhead blurts in frustration.
Not sure who originally suggested that, but the first one to get out of this dungeon will be the victor.
Of course, there is no way we would compete with nothing at stake. If by some very unlikely scenario she will win, I will teach her the secret way of cooking the meat of the「Grateful Boar」 that the Old Man taught me. And when I win, she will tell me the reason for her travel that she refused to reveal, saying that it is a secret.
Well, judging by her behavior, I feel like it is most likely some kind of epicurean reason.
That’s being the case, I deeply sighed at the sight of the redhead that started stomping the ground out of irritation.
I will get her as agitated as possible and will have my laugh. I did not forget how she made fun of me when I was falling.
「What are you even talking about after falling for such trap. Good grief, being able to voice your own delusions so boldly is a talent on its own.」
「Shaddup, did you not fall for a trap even before me!!」
「You are dumber since you managed to get hit by a trap even though I disarmed one with my body right in front of you.」
「Since you lost focus and fell for a trap that you could avoid, you are much dumber!!! A really big idiot! Big, big idiot!!!」
「Are you picking a fight?!」
「Took you long enough to notice, you moron!」
The redhead that stood up, softly rose into the air and once again set off to challenge the dungeon.
「Ah! You damn! Using 「Flying」 isn’t fair!」
「Blame yourself for spacing out!!!」
The redhead flew towards the stairway using a magic spell for flying. That was her surefire way of conquering the stairs at the entrance.
I also rushed up the stairs in already familiar parkour-like fashion.
However, unlike the redhead that flew in a straight line, I had to make a lot of zigzag movements so I was inevitably one step behind her in terms of speed.
「So slow, fu fu fu.」
「Ah! That bastard!!!」
The redhead that was flying ahead took a glance my way and giggled with an obscene expression that was showing her rotten character.
Widening the initial distance, the redhead rushed into the next trap zone ahead of me.
It seems that from now on, magic with continuous effects will not work, so the redhead was proceeding while carefully applying magic here and there.
However, even if I tried to rush and forcefully overtake her here, I will just end up triggering some other trap.
(No, it actually might be convenient.)
I was about to get worked up over the fact that I am falling behind but right now our positions are reversed from before.
In other words, if the redhead jumps in, it will be possible to determine trap’s position.
After testing it out many times I understood that this dungeon is just a maze, it has a lot of traps that almost ridicule you but none of them try to directly kill you.
It resembles a cross between one of the famous TV shows that I liked from my original world and karakuri yashiki. 1
It is common sense that triggering a trap in a dungeon can be fatal, but most of the traps I have seen here so far were not life-threatening. And after triggering a trap, you will end up in that dust chute-like pitfall combined with the slide.
Nevertheless, this dungeon can be hardly described as honest. No, in the first place, what kind of damn honesty did I expect from the dungeon.
Even though traps were not lethal, every single one of them was malicious.
「Ooh, big chest ahead. The contents are… Nuuaaaaaaa!!」
「Are you an idiot, no matter how you think about it, a chest right in the middle of a corridor can only be a trap. Avoid such chests as hard as you can So─thruaaaaaaaaaaah!!!」
*Sound of rolling*
「So in short, it should be fine to walk in direction of a treasure chest but I should not attempt to open it? If I proceed like that then, hey? Is it another trick art?」
「Another one of those ridiculously good paintings? This makes it a dead end… Nn, this chest moves? Heave-ho.」
「Ah, wait, don’t needlessly toueeeeeeeeh!!!」
「Uh, Umu. It’s not my fault… Anyway, let’s climb this rope ladder that just fell hereeeeh, what is this… It’s slippery… I’m falling?!」
*Sound of rolling*
And like that, one moment decides everything. And there is nothing else but such traps.
At the start, there were only traps that seemed to be deadly at the first sight, but as you get past them, you are greeted by a numerous amount of traps as if they were trying to simply overwhelm you with sheer quantity without caring much for quality.
Moreover, those traps change positions every time.
Repeating that, the redhead and I were sliding down the dust chute-like pitfall once again.
4 more days have passed.
「Fi, Finally, we got this far.」
「Honestly, what is this dungeon. It is way too nasty.」
We were getting covered in mud, grease and unidentified white powder (something like flour?). Experiencing that slide over and over again, we kept repeating the trial and error tactic until finally, we have reached this place.
An area between one trap zone and another trap zone which can be called a resting spot.
A floor colored in yellow that we have seen several times before reaching this place, apparently no traps were installed here.
From here, the way turned into the straight path and at the end of which was a door colored in the same yellow color as this place with a mocking sign 「Congratulations!!! This is the Exit?」 hanging on it.
The straight path was quite a lengthy one, though letters on the signboard were pretty huge, if it was not for this enhanced body, I would not see them as anything more than a small dot.
I do not know the exact length but I think it is around 800 meters.
「Hey, I don’t mind if you go ahead, you know? After all, it’s ladies first, since I am such a gentleman.」
「No, no, it is between you and me. You don’t have to mind something like that. Since putting a man forward is a woman’s duty.」
At that moment, the redhead and I were thinking exactly the same thing.
「You just trying to use me as a sacrifice!!!」
「You just trying to use me as a sacrifice!!!」
Grappling each other, we, while gritting teeth, did not lose even a single step to each other.
This conspicuous final passage obviously was ridden with traps.
「What’s with this idea to use a frail maiden as cannon fodder! Isn’t this where a man should risk his body and brave the danger!!!」
「I do not discriminate people by gender! And which damn part of you is a 「frail maiden」!!!
「Look, I am dainty and cute, right?」
「Soooooo fucking annoying!!! Making a 「cute」 face and sticking your tongue out like that only makes it awkward! What is this? Some new psychic attack? In that case, you have my praise!」
「To not understand my cuteness, what a truly pitiful fellow. Even though my father could not stand a chance versus this.」
「Father! You butchered your daughter’s education!! Look how regrettable she turned out!!!」
(Wait, what am I even doing!?)
I notice that I’m being drawn into an idiotic exchange of provocations.
It feels like by repeating stupid arguments while being locked in this dungeon, my mental age has lowered a bit.
No, this level of fooling around was ordinary when I lived as a student in my original world.
It’s just that in this world, I was a Hero and somewhere out there was the Demon Lord, the monsters and the bandits that came attacking and it was necessary to kill them.
…I simply had no time for that.
「Hey, there is no point in bickering like this. How about we make a truce instead of tiring out each other?」
「Go, Good idea. Let’s count to three, on count three we release each other hands.」
「Un, Understood. Three, right?」
「Begin? One, two…」
「Wait for a second, do we release on the 「ree」 part of three? Or after it?」
「Eeh? Well then at the 「ree」 part.」
「I prefer after 「ree」」
「They say so from the start!!! Does it even matter!!! No, really, does it?!」
Aah, such pointless argument.
After calming down, it feels so astonishingly empty.
It is that. It is the same feeling as when you are cleaning the mess you made when horsing around with your friends.
When doing it, due to the mood and high tension, any random line, any dumb idea, sounds genius. But when you remember about that later, it gives such an empty feeling that you’d almost want to ask yourself,「Were you drunk or are you just stupid?」
「I had enough. After the 「ree」 part, okay? Let’s go, one, two, thre…」
It was then.
The ground shook violently. No, actually the ground lightly sank.
This trap activated with such timing as if it was aiming for this moment.
In that instant, a certain realization pierced the brain along with the bad premonition.
(Yellow zones were safe only according to our experience, they were not mentioned in that manual in any way.)
After sinking once, the floor colored in yellow released all accumulated power at once and threw me and the redhead into the passage, towards the exit.
In my mind that was fruitlessly going round in circles, confused by the unexpected development, I vaguely felt that someone, somewhere, is having a good laugh, so, for now, I decided to yell.
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- TL Note: Karakuri yashiki – Mansion riddled various mechanisms, which may include but not limited to automatons, hidden doors, traps or some other clever mechanical tricks. ↩